Legumes and Bloat Blocks

Jul 25, 2021

Late summer is a time when pastures and cool season grasses usually go dormant, while legumes and fescue grass continue growing. The legumes, clover and alfalfa, tend to give the livestock a fuller look to their appearance. This is due to the gas or bloating of the stomach. When the animal can’t expell the gas, this can lead to death when not treated fast enough.

One preventive measure for bloating is to use “bloat blocks”. Bloat blocks are typically 33# in weight. The reccomended feeding rate is one block for every five head, 48 hours prior to turning into potential bloating pastures. I would recommend pulling all salt and mineral so the animals will consume the blocks.

Another option is to use sodium bicarbonate in feed mixes. The mixing rate is thirty pounds per ton on the first mix, then fifteen pounds per ton on the remaining mixes. The disadvantage to using sodium bicarbonate is that it’s in a meal form, which doesn’t hold in suspension very well in pelleted rations.

Contact your local SFG office for any supplies for your livestock operation.